Splash! (Short Story)
Ruby | Black Hill Primary School
Primary English | Term 1 2021
Splash! Anna toppled into the murky drink below. She bobbed up and down gasping for air, a large wave crashed over her pushing her under. She gazed up at the lightest part of the water, where the sun shone the brightest, where she could get a clean breath of air. She could feel herself getting heavier and heavier as her lungs filled with more and more water. Suddenly she felt the water begin to shake her as her eyes closed, probably forever. “Anna!” Her eyes shot open.
“What?” she asked as her eyes adjusted to the light.
“Maths is finished and Mrs. Wet is about to make an important announcement!” Mel whispered, shoving her maths book under her pencil case. Mrs. Wet strode to the front of the classroom.
“Attention class,” she began, “I have an important announcement to make.” The room was silent as 6C wondered how this announcement would affect them. “We are going to begin a school swimming program!” 6C broke into applause. Anna’s mouth went dry. The last time she had been ‘swimming’, she drowned. If it wasn’t for a nearby scuba diver Anna wouldn’t have been in her classroom, in fact she wouldn’t have been anywhere at all. It had been years since her drowning episode but she had developed aquaphobia and she always felt trapped in a net of her own fear.
That night Anna, her mum and Archie, her brother sat around the dinner table. “Muuum!” moaned Archie. “I’m sick of 2-minute noodles.”
“You know I work late and don’t have enough time or energy to cook.” “Couldn’t we have something else though?” Anna sat there in silence. She wasn’t going swimming, they couldn’t make her… could they?
“Well, what do you suggest then?” Mr Push had forced her to go swimming… with one big shove… would they do the same?
“Pizza!” yelled Archie. But would anyone save her this time?
“What do you think Anna?” If she didn’t show the note to her mum to sign… she wouldn’t have to go swimming!
“Anna?” Here she was again trapped in her own head, held back. “Anna!” “What?” She turned to her Mum.
“Are you okay?” She felt tears come to her eyes, but was determined not to let them fall. “Yes.”
“Are you sure?” Anna felt a lump come to her throat.
“No.” She burst into tears.
“Honey, what’s wrong?” Beth wrapped her arms around her daughter.
“School swimming.” Tears welled up in Beth’s eyes as she thought of the minute that she had nearly lost her four-year-old daughter forever.
“Don’t let me go please!” wailed Anna through tears.
“You’re stronger now Anna,” said Archie, staring at the floor.
“I’ll come Anna,” promised Beth. “This is important, we need to move on.”
Anna sat on the edge of the pool with her mum and Mrs. Wet. She stared into the pool. “Do I have to do this?” whispered Anna. She felt the net of fear tighten. “We need to move on,” Beth whispered back as she slid into a pool for the first time in seven years with Mrs. Wet.
“I think I’m going to be sick!” cried Anna. Her looks agreed with her. White and shaky with clammy hands and shallow breath. Heart rate 175… at least.
“Breathe,” soothed Mrs. Wet. She felt her shoulders relax. She dipped her toe in the water.
She felt the edge disappear. Splash!
Anna opened her eyes, she gazed up at Beth. “You did it,” whispered Beth.
“I did!” cried Anna, “and now I’m free.”Ruby | Black Hill Primary School
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